Category Archives: Sunday Morning Reading

Collection of my favorite posts from the personal finance and investing world online over the past week.

Sunday Morning Reading: July 13, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Is it just me or has this week flown by? 😉 I moved out of the dorms/barracks this week (finally) and have been working on getting everything set up. I’ve spent way more than I normally do so far this month but it’s all been large one-time expenses related to moving that I’ve been stockpiling cash for these last few months. Looking forward to August and getting back to higher savings rates.

I also found out I made Staff Sergeant (E-5) this week which is pretty cool. I’ll have a lot more responsibility here at work once I put the rank on probably spring time of next year but will also get an increase in pay which is good. I imagine my blogging/twitter time will be cut back here a little over the next month or so as I’ll probably be attending Airman Leadership School to prepare. It seems like I’ve been really busy with things all year long but I would much rather be busy all the time than be bored.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts here since last Sunday if you want to check them out.

Monthly Investing Recaps: June 2014

Income/Expense Report: June 2014

Monthly Dividend Income: June 2014

June 2014 Balance Sheet

And now on to some of my favorite posts from around the web that I’ve read recently.

Tom Lewis Once Had A Great Quote About The American Stock Market by The Conservative Income Investor. I won’t spoil it for you by sharing the quote here but it fits right in with the long-term mentality that dividend growth investors have. With so much media attention and instant access to the stock market via the internet, it can be easy to get caught up in the short-term ups and downs of stocks and forget about focusing on businesses that will be growing earnings consistently over the long-term.

Anyone Can Buy That by Budgets are Sexy. J. Money talks about the choice we all make about whether to use our money to buy luxury items or save it with the goal of becoming financially independent. It’s very easy to just go with the crowd and buy a new car every few years, take expensive vacations, and rock the big screen in your living room. Not saying any of these things is wrong to do, just saying you also have the choice, as J point out, to save your money and help yourself out in the future. Spending big pays immediate dividends so to speak with showing others how well you are doing. It takes a long time of packing away money into your investment accounts every month to produce results that others can see.

Look abroad for higher dividend yields by Dividend Growth Investor. DGI runs through a list of some foreign based companies with long dividend growth histories and also explains some of the differences between investing in U.S. companies vs. foreign based ones. Good read for anyone looking to diversify their portfolio with some international holdings.

So I Won The Lottery by Frankly Frugal. Kipp puts it all into perspective for us, explaining just how lucky we all are to have been born in places that allow us to even think about pursing financial independence dreams. Kipp’s a relatively new blogger on the scene so be sure to stop by his site and welcome him to the community.

Necessity Is The Mother of Badassity by Mr. Money Mustache with the winner of this week’s best blog post title. 😉 Mr. MM shares the story of replacing the roof at his mother’s house this summer and uses it to explain how sometimes you just need to jump into something new in order to learn about it and make a change to your lifestyle.

Why Dividend Growth Investing Is Such A Robust Investment Strategy For Those Seeking Early Financial Independence by Dividend Mantra. If you’re looking to get started with dividend growth investing, I highly recommend you check out this post. Jason lays out all the details of why this is such a great strategy for individuals such as myself that are looking to retire early. I think my favorite part that he mentions is how this strategy eliminates “Mr. Market.” While you still somewhat need to pay attention to the overall market as an investor (to know if any short-term events could present you with a buying opportunity for example), using this strategy allows you to ignore the daily ups and downs and instead focus on finding and buying companies that will be able to grow earnings and dividends over the long-term.

Hope you enjoyed theses posts from around the web. Have a great week!

Sunday Morning Reading: July 6, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying the holiday weekend.

Things have been pretty busy here over the last few weeks as I have spent most of my time looking for apartments downtown as I get closer to moving out of the dorms here on base. Good news is I managed to find one at the end of this week that is both fairly close to work and reasonably priced so that I can hopefully continue to maintain a high savings rate.

And now on to some of my favorite posts from around the web that I’ve read recently.

Fortunes Are Built By Being Exceptional In One of Three Ways by The Conservative Income Investor. Great post by Tim detailing 3 of the main ways to build long-term wealth through stock investing. With an investment in Visa, a relatively high savings rate (percentage wise), and a long-term horizon before early retirement, my strategy has elements of all 3 but Way #2 is what I hope will ultimately allow me to retire early.

Can everyone achieve financial independence with Dividend Paying Stocks? by Dividend Growth Investor. DGI provides a good overview of how to be successful with dividend growth investing. The first step of spending less than you earn and living within your means is a very important one and shouldn’t be overlooked when considering investing. This ties directly in with Way #2 in Tim’s article above.

Growth Update: June 2014 by My Dividend Growth. Ryan shares his portfolio progress for the month of June. With only half of the year complete he has already almost hit his goal of $17,500 in new funds invested. That’s like maxing out your 401k in 6 months! Awesome stuff.

Long Term Mindset Portfolio-Purchase 008-Mastercard by Long Term Mindset. Brian shares his latest portfolio purchase of Mastercard and provides an analysis of the stock. As a big fan of Visa, I may have to take a look at MA next. Similar to Visa, Mastercard has high margins and plenty of room to grow. Although a low yielder, MA does have the potential to offer very large dividend increases going forward as well as large capital gains.

Ten Spot Friday-3 Reasons For Wal-Mart (WMT) by Dear Dividend. DD gives an overview of why he thinks Wal-Mart is a good investment at current levels and why he will be using Loyal3 to buy some stock. After putting money into Target over the last 6 months through Loyal3 I may take a look at Wal-Mart for a purchase later this summer.

Sporting World Dividend Investing by DivHut. Keith continues his series of dividend growth stocks with a look at companies in the sporting goods industry. As a fan of Peter Lynch’s philosophy of buying what you know, Nike has always intrigued me as a potential dividend growth investment. Although as Keith points out, the stock has run up quite a bit here with a P/E of 26 and forward P/E of 22. On the other end of the valuation spectrum is Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) which a P/E of only 16.6. I’m familiar with the company after frequenting their stores a lot while growing up on the east coast so I’ll have to take a look at DKS as well.

Financial Books Everyone Should Read by Julie @ Millennial Cents. Julie shares 6 financial books to put on your reading list for the summer. Great picks for anyone interested in personal finance. To her list I’d add Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Single Best Investment as two books I really enjoyed and think those starting out with investing and in particular dividend growth investing should read.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging world. Have a great week everyone!

Disclosure: I am long Visa (V) and Wal-Mart (WMT).

Sunday Morning Reading: May 11, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying the weekend. First off, I apologize for not posting a recap last weekend. Work and school have been busy the last few weeks with both the final exam for the college class I was taking this semester and my promotion test at work landing close together making for a very busy few weeks of studying. So glad it’s over. Now I can get back on track with everything else going on in my life, along with some more regular blogging.

Here was what I published since my last recap here at Starting From Zero.

New Dividend Champions List

April 2014 Balance Sheet

Monthly Investing Recaps: April 2014

Monthly Dividend Income: April 2014

Income/Expense Report: April 2014

Credit/Debit Card Policy Change for Loyal3

And here are some of my favorite posts from around the web that I’ve read recently.

Zero your cerebral inbox by Johnny Moneyseed. This kind of goes hand in hand with the productivity post I shared last time. I’ve got the writing everything down part handled, my desk at work and home is literally covered in sticky notes of things to do or ideas for my various hobbies, it’s just prioritizing them and actually getting things done that I need to work on.

The Journey Home Is Bittersweet by Dividend Mantra. Jason shares with his readers his decision to make a big change with his life and career, deciding to move back to his home state after four years living in Florida. Sounds like it was difficult decision to make and I wish him the best of luck.

Frugal yet Fancy Homebrewing-with 30 seconds of work by Mr. Money Mustache. Now this sounds like something I want to try. Mr. MM shares a simple and quick way to make your own homemade hard cider using juice. Frugality and alcohol, doesn’t get much better than that. 😉

Cinco de Mayo Dividend Stocks by Div Hut. Sticking with the alcohol theme, we turn to some of the stocks that produce both alcoholic and snack products that probably saw a lot of business this past May 5th. From the list BUD and Pepsico are both on my watch list for my dividend growth portfolio. Div Hut is a relatively new blog so be sure to stop by and welcome Keith to the DGI blogging community.

Berkshire Meeting: Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speak by 1500 Days to Freedom. Mr. 1500 shares his recent trip to Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting. Sound like an interesting trip and one that I’d be interested in making at some point. While I don’t own any shares in Berkshire, it is probably one of the few non-dividend paying stocks I would consider owning in the future, especially with their potential to possibly initiate a dividend down the road.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂


Sunday Morning Reading: April 27, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend. I’m working this weekend so I’m putting this together Friday night and setting it to publish Sunday morning so I may be a little slow in responding to comments. My work days change week to week but I figured I might as well try to keep my weekly recaps on Sundays. Changing it up and posting it on my “weekend” and making it a Wednesday morning reading post just sounds weird to me. 😉 Anyway, on to the links!

Here was what I published this week here on the blog.

Loyal3 Dividends

What I Like about Dividend Investing

And here are some of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week. 

Have You Conducted a Productivity Audit? by Cashville Skyline. Addison talks about how she recently examined the activities in her life, how much time they take up, and what you should consider when planning how much time you should be devoting to various tasks. This is definitely something I need to work on in my life as I try to balance work, school, blogging, and everything else.

A History Lesson on Retirement by Debt Free Guys. Very interesting post by the Debt Free Guys giving a complete history on the idea of a retirement and how it has been shaped by various historical events. Did you realize that the earliest pensions were started in the 13th century? Yeah me either. Throughout the whole thing it made me appreciate the early retirement movement (if you want to call it that) more that so many personal finance bloggers write about these days. It truly is bucking the trend of everything that came before it.

What’s The Bigger Sacrifice: Living Below Your Means or Working For Most of Your Life? by Dividend Mantra. Great post by Jason over at Dividend Mantra answering the all important question when it comes to making the decision to retire early. Choosing to live below your means definitely isn’t easy by any means but as he explains, it will all be worth it in the end as you gain more freedom.

Best Podcasts on itunes by Long Term Mindset. Long Term Brian compiles a great list of his favorite podcasts to listen to on the topics of blogging, education/entertainment, and finance.  You can download these to your itunes player/ipod, etc or just listen on your computer all for free. Like myself, Brian’s a newer personal finance blogger so be sure to check out his site and welcome him to the community.

Don’t Throw Away Your One and Only Chance to Do Great Things by Create My Independence. Kraig explains how at some point in all of our lives we have to stop preparing for something and actually start doing it. For him it was walking away from a steady job in order to pursue his dream of building his own business. For others it may be deciding to start living below your means and investing a high percentage of your income in order to retire early like myself. As much as I think my year or so of researching investing helped me become more knowledge, at some point you have to actually start.

Apple-A Dividend Grower? by Roadmap2Retire. R2R provides a nice analysis of Apple which recently reported a great quarter for earnings and announced a dividend raise, increased buyback, and stock split. Doesn’t get much better than that and I’m glad I picked up shares early last year when I started investing in individual stocks.

What Do I Think Will Happen With Stocks When They Stop Quantitative Easing? by Dividend Growth Stock Investing. Dan’s thoughts on this topic align closely with my own which is basically who cares? While I do think (and hope) that rising interest rates will cause dividend paying stocks to drop in price some, I’m not waiting around for it to happen. Regardless of what the Fed is doing, I’ll try my best to ignore the noise and focus on carrying out my strategy of adding quality dividend growth stocks to my portfolio at fair or undervalued prices.

Recent Buy: April 2014 by My Dividend Growth. Ryan shares his recent purchase of Aflac (AFL) for his dividend growth portfolio and provides an analysis on why he did so. I think AFL is a good buy at current levels for long-term investors and recently picked up some shares myself after I got my tax refund which I’ll be blogging about soon in my next monthly investing recap.

2014 Goals-1st Quarter Update by Passive Income Pursuit. JC provides an update of his goals for 2014, including financial, personal, and blogging ones. He’s making great progress and is on track to meet his goals for the year. Very motivating stuff.

Back in the Game?! by Income Surfer. Bryan shares how he recently began working at a local small business owned by a friend in order to help get the business back on track. He also plans on using the experience to help learn about the business model of this particular industry. One of my long-term goals in life is to own a small business. I had never thought about going to work for different ones in order to better learn about different business models. Interesting idea and one I’m sure will work out well.


Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging world this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images/

Disclosure: I am long Apple (AAPL) and Aflac (AFL).


Sunday Morning Reading: April 20, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week.

What I Use to Research Stocks

Investment Account Types

How to Start From Zero Financially

Weekly Recaps I was Mentioned In (thanks guys! 🙂 ).

Momentum is King by Dividend Ladder.

Chatter Around the World-40 by Roadmap2Retire.

Weekend Reading-April 19, 2014 by Passive Income Mavericks.

And here are some of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week.

Financial Literacy and Education: What My Parents Taught Me about Money by Common Sense Millennial.

My Top Financial Hack: Front Loading Your Life by The College Investor.

A Second Wake-Up Call…the Tragedy that Changed Our Lives by My Shiny Nickels.

A Real Dividend Growth Machine: Q1 2014 Review by Dividend Growth Machine @ Seeking Alpha.

Reinvest or Pool? by Passive Income Pursuit.

My First Stock Investments by Roadmap2Retire.

The Surprising Way That Being A Perfectionist Saves Me Money by Frugal Rules.

7 Blogging Mistakes I Made During My First Try As A Blogger by Make Money Your Way.

Reflecting On Some Of Life’s Most Valuable Lessons by The First Million Is The Hardest.

Hierarchy of Fire (after Maslow) by Mister Squirrel.

Your Emergency Fund-Does Size Really Matter? by Your Finances Simplified.


Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging and investing world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolate Images/

Sunday Morning Reading: April 13, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend. Here’s some dividend growth investing and personal finances articles for you to read today.

First off, here are my blog posts from the past week.

March Income/Expense Report

Long-Term Investing is a Mindset

Updating My Potential Buy List: April 2014

And here are come of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week.

Always Learning: I Still Don’t Really Know What I’m Doing by FI Fighter. Great post that talks about how you should always continue to learn more about investing and how when starting many of us don’t really know what we’re doing. Having only started a little over a year ago, I know I still have a ton to learn. Even though this article is mainly geared towards real estate investing, the principles can be applied to any investing activity.

22 Dividend Bloggers Share Their Top Investing Advice by Dan Mac @ Dividend Growth Stock Investing. Dan continues his series of polling fellow dividend growth investors from around the web and compiling their answers in one blog post. This time he asked, “What is your #1 advice for beginner investors?” Lots of great responses and even if you are a seasoned investor you can probably find something of value in it. Check out the 6th answer in the post, that guy seems to know what he’s talking about. 😉

Dividend Growth Investing: Is Total Return A Useful Metric? by David Crosetti @ Seeking Alpha. If you’ve read the dividend growth investing articles over at Seeking Alpha lately you would have noticed the increased number of articles criticizing the strategy over not beating the market indices on a total return basis. While growing my portfolio size is awesome, (who doesn’t like to see their stock picks go up over the long run?), building up a reliable and increasing dividend stream is where our focus is at with this strategy.

Break in Case of Emergency by Dividend Mantra. Jason covers how he thinks of his dividend income stream as part of his emergency fund. Once you’ve built up your DGI portfolio to a certain point where you are getting reliable dividend income each month, it can really help you out if you were ever short for cash. Although reinvesting your dividends is a better choice until you retire, as he points out, its just another benefit of investing in dividend growth stocks instead of growth only strategies where you would have to sell off stocks in this type of situation.

Investing Lessons I’ve Learned by Bryan from Income Surfer guest posting at Roadmap2Retire. Great advice by Bryan covering investment advice. I particularly like the last point, “Follow Your Plan.” This can be applied to all types of investment strategies. As long as you come up with a plan to keep you focused on your goals and don’t let the ups and downs of the market sway you from it, you’ll do well.

April Showers Bring…Dividend Growth, Joy And Fun! by Mike Nadel @ Seeking Alpha. Mike recaps the dividend increases and expected increases for the stocks in his portfolio as well as those that pay out this month. Being a former sports reporter, Mike has a really easy to read writing style and is one of the many authors on SA that I follow regularly. I like the point that he makes at the end, that this strategy is simply more fun than others. What’s better than getting rewarded every few months with a dividend check and also getting annual raises?

Michael Lewis and Flash Traders Do Not Affect Long-Term Investors by The Conservative Income Investor. With large financial institutions ruling Wall Street and having a large influence on stock prices, its easy to feel like stock investing is a rigged game. Tim points out that while that may be true in the short-term, over the long-term the returns of blue chip dividend payers tend to mirror the combined total of their earnings per share growth plus dividend yield. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Dominating Your Finances With Burst Saving by The College Investor. Timely post with so many people, including myself getting their tax returns back. Robert talks about how saving a large percent of the money you receive in situations like this can help make up for other times throughout the year when you may not always be able to meet your savings goals.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging and personal finance world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolate Images/

Sunday Morning Reading: April 6, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week.

Meet a Dividend Growth Stock: Coca-Cola

Best and Worst States for Taxes

Monthly Investing Recaps: March 2014

Meet a Dividend Growth Stock: Realty Income

March 2014 Balance Sheet

Monthly Dividend Income: March 2014

And are some of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week.

Colgate Palmolive: The Best Dividend Stock In The World? by The Conservative Income Investor. Great post by Tim showing how great an investment Colgate has been and should continue to be in the future. Like all stocks, there is some risk, but with their wide variety of products and brands, Colgate is on my list of stocks that I would like to add to portfolio at some point.

Blue Light Specials In The Market: Technology by Eric Landis @ Seeking Alpha. Nice post over at SA looking at dividend stocks in the technology sector that are trading at attractive valuations. I am long IBM in my portfolio and will be looking at Microsoft since it is available on Loyal3.

Escape From The Cubicle Farm by Brave New Life. Great post by BNL explaining the reasons he getting done at his current job and beginning early retirement.

Why Aren’t The Dividend Aristocrats And Dividend Champions The Same? by David Van Knapp @ Seeking Alpha. Dave’s one of the many great dividend growth investing authors over at SA. This article covers the differences between the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Champions List, both of which include stocks with 25 or more years of dividend growth and are good starting points for stock research.

19 Things Your Suburban Millionaire Neighbor Won’t Tell You by Len Penzo. Similar to the book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” Len writes about some of the common traits shared by millionaires, most of whom you wouldn’t think are millionaires.

How To Get $10,000 Each Year From A $250,000 Nest Egg by Timothy M. David McAleenan Jr. @ Seeking Alpha. I really enjoy reading articles on portfolio construction such as how to weight your stocks and what percentage should be in the higher yielding/lower growth dividend stocks and what should be in those with lower yields but higher dividend growth rates. Tim covers this topic in the article and favors a strategy with 40% in higher yielding stocks like energy companies, tobacco companies, utilities, and telecoms. The rest should be in high quality blue chips with lower yields but higher dividend growth rates. I’m following a similar strategy with my portfolio as I try to keep a balance between the two types of dividend growth stocks.

Our Savings Rate Was…!!! by Gaming Your Finances. Great post by GYF recapping their savings rate for the past year. Check out the awesome chart included in the post showing how long it takes to achieve financial independence based upon your savings rate.

Military Financial Report Video #2-USAA Mutual Funds by Military Finance Report. Brandon continues his Youtube video series giving readers an introduction to the mutual funds offered by USAA and where to access them on their site. Good introduction to the types of funds and how they are categorized by risk level for any fellow USAA users out there. While I’m personally not a fan of mutual funds, they are a good investment choice for those that want to invest more passively.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging and personal finance world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolate Images/


Sunday Morning Reading: March 30, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week.

Updating My Potential Buy List

Why Are IRA Contribution Limits So Low?

Target’s Credit Rating Cut, Are You Concerned?

And here are some of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week.

A Kick-in-the-teeth Guide to Investing by Johnny Moneyseed. Great post for beginning investors if you want a quick primer on all the basics of investing.

20 Favorite Dividend Growth Stocks from 20 Dividend Growth Bloggers by Dan Mac @ Dividend Growth Stock Investing. Cool article by Dan Mac where he asked 20 dividend growth investing bloggers what their favorite dividend growth stocks are. Coca-Cola (KO) seems to be the favorite and would rank at the top of my list as well.

Four Companies Paying Dividends For Over 100 Years by Dividend Growth Investor. While not a complete list, DGI presents four companies that have been paying dividends for over a century that are able to be verified through the company’s records. I currently own one of them in IBM and would like to add one of the others in Exxon Mobil.

Your Child Could Be Heading Toward Financial Failure If… by Gregg Murset @ Show just how important it is for children to have a financial education before they enter the adult world.

Consider Aflac If You Like Buybacks, Long Dividend Streaks And Cheap Valuations by Timothy M. David McAleenan Jr. @ Seeking Alpha. Great post by Tim, who has published a lot of quality articles this week, giving an analysis of Aflac which I also believe to be undervalued and plan on adding to my portfolio soon.

How to Kick Ass at Work by 1500 Days. “Most people work just hard enough to not get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”-George Carlin. Great quote to start off with and Mr. 1500 goes on to explain some simple tips to use to excel at your job and also a reminder to keep your job in perspective and not make it your entire life. I particularly like the final tip. Check it out.

Introducing the Metal Roof: Shingles are now Obsolete by Mr. Money Mustache. For any of you interested in construction and home improvement check out this post by MMM where he chronicles his recent installation of a metal roof on the house he is remodeling and building to be very energy efficient. Coming from a family of carpenters and tradesmen, I like posts like that incorporate construction with personal finance.

Selective Dividend Reinvestment Vs. DRIP by Dividend Mantra. Great post by Jason over at Dividend Mantra explaining how he reinvests the dividends his portfolio produces and also gives a primer on some of the other methods. Judging by the comment stream, it seems a lot of people, including myself, tend to use a mixture of the two strategies.

Conventional Personal Finances Makes Us Think Way Too Small by Cash Rebel. Awesome post by Cash Rebel explaining how conventional financial wisdom that teaches us to save 10% of our income is in fact limiting what we could achieve if we decided to save and invest more than that amount. While saving 10% is better than none, you shouldn’t stop there but continue and try to reach your full potential.

Outline On How To Buy Municipal Bonds by Brick By Brick Investing. Not a post from this week but I just discovered this blog and thought I’d share. While I don’t currently plan on adding any bonds to my portfolio at the moment, I think this would probably be the best type if I ever wanted a fixed income type investment in the future due to the tax advantages.

Lastly, if you have the time, check out these two new blogs and welcome them to the dividend growth investing community.

The Dividend Way

Passive Income Mavericks

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Sunday Morning Reading: March 23, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week.

McDonald’s Stock Research

Why Do People Not Save Enough for Retirement?

And here are some of my favorite posts from around the web over the last week.

The “Latte Factor” is Not About the Latte by Rob Berger @ Dough Roller.

The Way of Financial Freedom by Brave New Life.

Dividend Growth Investing: An Introduction to Creating Wealth by David Crosetti @ Seeking Alpha.

Richard Kinder: The Warren Buffett of Energy by Dividend Growth Investor.

The One Asset You Need to Maximize by The First Million Is The Hardest.

The Positive Psychology of Dividend Growth Investing by David Van Knapp @ Seeking Alpha.

Preparing to live on half my income…if I need to by The Good Steward.

Are You Richer Than Your Grandparents? by Reach Financial Independence.

Bots Taking Over by Roadmap2Retire.

Capital Gains Taxes 101: For Anyone Who Buys and Sells Investments by G.E. Miller @ 20 Something Finance.

Need Motivation to Save Money? Consider the Go to Hell Fund by Common Sense Millennial.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the blogging world. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolate Images/

Sunday Morning Reading: March 16, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week:

Bro, do you even budget?

What are you saving for?

Investing Styles: Which one is best for me?

How General Mills and Mad Money turned me into a Dividend Growth Investor

Patriots and Blue Chip Investing

And here are some of my favorite blog posts and investing articles from around the web over the past week.

A Simple Step That Pays Huge Dividends by Income Surfer. Great post on a topic not often discussed when choosing what type of investment to invest in: fees and the impact they can have on your returns. This is one of the reasons why I prefer to invest in individual stocks so I can control how much my commission is a percentage of my investment by investing in larger amounts of stock at a time versus paying a fixed (and often high) percentage sales charge that a lot of actively managed mutual funds use. If you’re not the type to pick stocks yourself, index funds often offer some of the lowest expense ratios.

Marriage and Finance Part 1 by Military Finance Report. Fellow military blogger Brandon goes over some of the different types of roles spouses often assume in relationships when it comes to managing household finances. Although it is aimed at military families, the roles are often seen in non-military families as well.

Exxon Mobil: The Dividend Growth Picture Looks Unusually Bright by Timothy M. David McAleenan Jr. at Seeking Alpha. This articles goes over Exxon’s future dividend growth prospects which will be fueled by a combination of upcoming production growth and the company’s continuing stock buyback which typically buys up 4-5% of its stock each year. Exxon is on my buy list and I hope to add it to my portfolio sometime this year.

Freedom-Best Pursued with Wild Abandon by Write Your Own Reality. “Freedom looks different for everybody, but everybody can appreciate being free.” Great post about how regardless of the way you’re investing or how you view early retirement (i.e. continuing to work part-time vs. not working at all), we are all pursuing the same overall goal-freedom to choose to live our lives the way we want to.

My Financial Goal: $1 Million Net Worth by 40 by Caveman Money. Caveman discusses his new long-term goal for increasing his net worth to $1 million in the next 12 years. Achieving this goal, he explains, will greatly help and put him on track to being able to retire early. Setting goals is a great thing to do and really helps you stay on track when it comes to your finances and investing.

Total Dividend Return Will Guide My 2014 Decisions Part 2 by Bob Wells at Seeking Alpha. This article explains how Bob is using total dividend return, a metric commonly referred to as “The Chowder Rule,” named after fellow SA contributor Chowder,in his investing decisions this year. The Chowder Rule number is made up of a stock’s current yield plus its 5 year dividend growth rate. Chowder and Bob prefer this equal to 12, so a stock yielding 3% will need a 5 year dividend growth rate of 9% to qualify. Be sure to check out Part 1 (link in the article) to see how Bob does research to determine what stocks to add to his dividend growth portfolio. I always like reading articles that go over an author’s stock research process as I usually find something new to do or add to my own process.

Where Will Qualcomm’s Growth Come From by Roadmap2Retire. This article by R2R lays out why Qualcomm could be an attractive dividend growth investment in the technology sector, where you don’t often find a lot of dividend growth names. The key takeaways that I liked about QCOM that was presented in the article was the large amount of cash saved up, no debt, and an impressive dividend growth rate. I’ll have to add this stock to my research list.

Drink This, Save Money by G.E. Miller at 20 Something Finance. Cool post explaining just how expensive it is to buy bottle water (and other drinks) versus tap water. As part of my frugal lifestyle I always fill up my water bottle(s) with tap water before I go to work to save money.

Real Estate Investing-The First Investment is the Scariest by FI Fighter. Great post by FI Fighter going over how we are all adaptable and once hit with something new and maybe “scary” we are usually are able to figure it out and adapt to the new lifestyle or activity. The example he uses in the post is real estate investing. I love this quote from the post, “You don’t become a master at something by watching idly on the sidelines. If your want to learn something, you have to go out there and actually do it!” I couldn’t agree more and the same thought process can really be applied to any new thing in our lives, whether it be choosing to build your own stock portfolio, investing in real estate as the post highlights, or even trying a new sport or hobby you’ve never done before.

How You Can Invest Like Warren Buffett by David Van Knapp at Seeking Alpha. Dave breaks down the latest Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter written by Buffett and how the lessons and ideas presented in it can be adapted to individual investors. I love the analogy at the beginning of how building your own dividend growth portfolio is like running your own holding company. Treating your portfolio and investing like a business is a great idea and one I know a lot of dividend growth investors use.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the web. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

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